First passed in 1970 by President Nixon, the Controlled Substances Act changed the way the country handled drugs. From that moment on, the federal government took control of manufacturing, importing, possession and distribution of widely abused substances like cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs – and you guessed it – marijuana.
A substance that was once glorified in the decade prior to the Controlled Substances Act was now under government control. Since then, the use of marijuana has increased dramatically, and more and more criminal activity surrounding this drug in particular has occurred.
However, within this past year alone, both the American people and the federal government are changing their vantage point on the use of marijuana – a once highly controlled substance. States such as Colorado and Washington State have legalized the recreational use of the drug, and dozens of other states have decriminalized possession of it. As 2014 trudges on, more and more leeway is seemingly given to this tiny green plant.
On Monday, a bill will be put on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives that would amend the Controlled Substances Act. The bill, which is three pages long, would allow people to utilize marijuana that contains a low dose of THC.
THC is the chemical within marijuana that makes it produce psychoactive effects like visual and auditory disturbances. The passing of this bill would mean that for the first time in history, the federal government would be legalizing medical marijuana use.
Surprisingly, many people within the government are championing the bill, especially considering the many benefits that medical marijuana has had on those who are sick and/or suffering from a hard-to-treat illness.
For example, many children have suffered from issues such as seizures and trouble breathing, and some adults would suffer from the pain brought on by cancer and other terminal illnesses. The use of medical marijuana in specific states has proven to help reduce (if not cure) many of the symptoms associated with these kinds of issues.
According to Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, he is expecting to see the bill pass with a great deal of support. “We live in America, and if there’s something that would make my child better, and they can’t get it because of the government, that’s not right,” he stated in defense of the amendment modification.
With the new bill circulating around, the common goal is to get both state legislations and the federal government to work together for this common cause.